“Fathers inevitably change the course of their daughters’ lives—and can even save them. From the moment you set eyes on her wet-from-the-womb body until she leaves your home, the clock starts ticking. It’s the clock that times your hours with her, your opportunities to influence her, to shape her character, and to help her find herself.” Dr Meg Meeker (Author of “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters” etc.)
In my experience as a counsellor, over the last two decades, I have had the great honour and privilege of meeting and counselling many men, and many women.
Conservatively, 80-90% of those men and women had been wounded by their fathers, most of them unknowingly of course.
Whenever I meet a woman today, I am able to assess quite quickly, through our interactions, whether or not she had a good relationship with her father who was actively involved in her life.
As award-winning, best-selling Author, Kristen Houghton said, “Little girls become strong, competent women by having a dad who is encouraging, compassionate, and loving.”.
Back in August 27, 2013, Sarah Berry, Lifestyle Health Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, published an article entitled, “The Importance of Dads”.
In that article, she quoted Dr Linda Nielsen, Professor of Educational & Adolescent Psychology at Wake Forest University, who in turn quoted a U.S. wide poll “Dads talk about their daughters” conducted by the Roper Center For Public Opinion Research in 2004, which stated that, “Only 30% of fathers believe that their active involvement in their daughter’s life is “vital” to her health and well-being.”
Now if my math serves me correctly, then 7 out of 10 Dads of daughters do not believe that their active involvement in their daughter’s life is “vital”.
That statistic is an alarming one, however it also explains quite a lot.
You see in 2018, Fathering Adventures only facilitated just one (1) of our “Fathering Girls” Father and Daughter Camps, in just one location, whereas we facilitated four (4) of our “Fathering Boys” Father and Son Adventure Weekend experiences in four (4) locations around our Nation, for children aged 7-13 years inclusive, simply due to demand, or lack thereof in the case of Dads and daughters.
And all of that is very concerning, because fathers are extremely important and influential, in the lives of their daughters… clearly more than most Dads of daughters are aware.
Psychologist and author Dr James Dobson said the following about fathers and daughters, and the importance of the father and daughter relationship… “If I sat here for three or four weeks, I could not adequately describe just how important the father and daughter relationship is.”.
Extremely talented American singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer, John Mayer, understands that truth all too well, which is why he penned the lyrics to his 2005 Grammy Awards winning Song of The Year, “Daughters”, which contains lyrics such as these…
“Fathers be good to your daughters. You are the god and the weight of her world.“.
Every daughter (child & adult alike) has a single core question, which is often phrased in any one of the following ways… “Do you love me?”, “Do you notice me?”, “Do you see me?”, “What do you see in me?”, “Will you pursue me?”, “Will you fight for me?”.
How are you answering your daughter’s core question Dad?
She needs your love, time, & attention, your appropriate affection, and your words of affirmation.
And if she’s not getting those things from you, then she will go looking for those things outside of the home, from another, less healthy, masculine source.
Your daughter also needs you Dad, to be an integral part of her development and transition between girlhood and womanhood.
World renowned Australian psychologist & author Steve Biddulph, says the following in his book, “Raising Girls”…
“Some time between fourteen and adulthood, a girl needs some kind of marker event, a growing-up rite… Girls have to be deliberately and proactively launched into healthy womanhood.
When this is done well, the results are impressive. A girl takes charge of her life and begins to make her unique way in the world.“
Isn’t that what we all want for our daughters?
That at the appropriate age, they take charge of their lives, and begin to make their unique ways in the world.
If you have a daughter aged 13 years or older – no maximum age limit, then we encourage you to provide such a marker event / growing up rite, for her.
‘Fathering Adventures’ can help fathers and daughters with such a process, through their “Rite of Passage” 4 Night Daughter and Father Adventure experiences.
Those experiences will ensure that your daughter does not feel alone, and feel as though she has to attempt to navigate through life on her own.
They will help her have a healthier identity, self-worth, and self-esteem.
And they will help you both have a healthier father and daughter relationship, a deeper understanding of one another, and more effective communication, into your future together as father and daughter.
And finally, no matter how old your daughter may be, you will always be her father.
Yes, as she grows older, your influence will diminish, as it quite rightly should, however she will always want, and need, you to be actively involved in her life, for as long as breath remains in your lungs.
Whatever your situation… Be sure to act today!
If you have a daughter aged 7-13 years inclusive, then we encourage you to explore our “Fathering Girls” Father and Daughter Camps, here, and signal your intent to join us in the future, in either South-East Queensland, Victoria, or NSW.
And if you have a daughter aged 13 years or older – no maximum age limit, then we encourage you to explore our “Rite of Passage” 4 Night Daughter and Father Adventure experiences, here, and signal your intent to join us in the future, in Tropical North Queensland.